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17 People, Three Dogs, Cat Flee Three-Home Passaic Fire

Flames shot through the roof and out the windows of the Summer Street home in Passaic. Photo Credit: Damien Danis for DAILY VOICE
Firefighters kept the blaze from causing more serious damage to the neighboring homes on Summer Street in Passaic. Photo Credit: Damien Danis for DAILY VOICE
No serious injuries were reported in the Palm Sunday fire on Summer Street in Passaic. Photo Credit: Damien Danis for DAILY VOICE

Fire destroyed a Passaic home and damaged two others on Palm Sunday, displacing four families, including three dogs and a cat.

EMTs treated a couple of firefighters at the scene, authorities said. No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters found the first and second floors of the middle Summer Street home fully engulfed before the three-alarm blaze blew through the roof and spread to the adjoining homes.

All 17 residents and pets got out safely -- among them, several children who fled in their socks, as well as three dogs and one cat, Mayor Hector Carlos Lora said.

"The proximity of structures in our residential community make it a real challenge," Lora said.

Firefighters from Carlstadt, Clifton, East Rutherford, Rutherford, Paterson and Wallington and Paterson assisted, he said. The cause wasn't immediately determined.

"If not for mutual aid and the amazing work of our firefighters, it would have been different," the mayor said. "Structures can be rebuilt, property can be replaced, but life is precious."

The Red Cross was helping the displaced residents, who temporarily remained at City Hall. City human services officials were collecting clothing and other necessities for them.

"We need more Pampers. We need sneakers of different sizes, socks," Lora said.

Used items can't be distributed, the mayor said. They need to be new.

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